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The Office 365 admin center provides tenants with a verbose log of activity

The Office 365 admin center also provides access to historical data about service health. The demonstration depicts the method of accessing these reports as simply a matter of clicking back to a prior screen. But I could only access the same reports for our Office 365 E3 tenant by returning to the home page for the admin center, and, subsequently, clicking on “Service Health” in the Quick Launch, and then “Service Health”, once again, in the drop down list served to me by the portal.

The reports served went back 5 calendar days, in a horizontal depiction, like a spreadsheet. Access is also provided to a similar report for Service Health for the prior 30 days. With a click on my right mouse button I was able to serve up this report in a new browser tab.

The 30 day report is different from the report served for the prior 5 calendar days and is worth a comment. The latter report provides a check, on/off depiction of whether a specific service is running properly, or not. The former report, meaning the one for the prior 30 days, depicts the data in a vertical manner. The only information provided is specific to any anomalies relative to services for a specific day, so administrators are cautioned not to look for daily health data for each service listed on the report. The only information provided is strictly about issues.

The 30 day health report provides a short status message about each “incident” included on it. A hot link is provided to any content available about a specific incident. A click on the hot link serves up a full, detailed report including all public content about the incident, including data and time notations, at each point, about the steps taken in the remediation process.

When I clicked on the link provided “to view the post-incident report”, A formal document was downloaded to my computer in Word file format. This report included:

  • Incident Information
  • Summary
  • Customer Impact
  • Incident Start Date and Time
  • Date and Time Service was Restored
  • Root Cause
  • and, finally, Next Steps

The extent to which Microsoft is addressing the need to be transparent as to how any/all anomalies are handled should be apparent to readers. This report is likely “over kill” for small to medium sized businesses, but an absolute requirement for any large customers migrating over to Office 365, or adding it as an additional computing option.

We will continue these comments on the Channel 9 webcast in the next post to this blog.